From: Associated Press
Published July 12, 2005 12:00 AM

Statoil Plans to Develop New Offshore Oil Field in the Norwegian Sea

OSLO, Norway — Statoil ASA on Monday said it plans to develop a new oil and natural gas field called Tyrihans in the Norwegian Sea.

The state-controlled company said project partners submitted plans to the oil ministry for approval in the 14 billion kroner ($2.1 billion) project, due to begin production in 2009.

Oil Minister Thorhild Widvey said the up to 80,000-barrel-of-oil per-day project is one of the biggest currently planned for Norwegian waters.

"I see it as extremely positive that the license holders had decided to develop Tyrihans," she said in a statement.

Norway's offshore oil fields have a capacity of about 3 million barrels per day, making the Nordic country the world's third largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia and Russia.

However, with production expected to decline at older fields, the government has encouraged oil companies to move ahead with projects that would shore up supplies.

The field has estimated reserves of 189 million barrels of oil and 1.23 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. It is to be developed with infrastructure on the ocean floor, called sub-sea wells, that will be remotely controlled from Statoil's existing Kristin platform, about 20 miles away.

The project also includes an underwater pipeline, connecting Tyrihans to the Kristin platform, that will be electrically heated to prevent the formation of hydrates, a kind of hydrocarbon ice, that could clog the line.

"This project combines all our knowledge and innovative technology for improved recovery from sub-sea developed fields," said project manager Staale Gjersvold. "It will set a new standard for bringing such developments on stream."

The Tyrihans field is about 110 miles off the midwestern coast of Norway, with water depths of about 985 feet.

Statoil, based in the southwestern port of Stavanger, owns 46.8 percent of the field. Its partners in the project are France's Total SA with 26.51 percent, the Oslo-based Norsk Hydro AS group with 12 percent, the Norwegian branch of Italy's Eni SpA, Eni Norge ASA, with 7.9 percent and Texas-based ExxonMobil Corp. with 6.75 percent.

Source: Associated Press

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